Natural Gas In Ireland
Natural gas accounts for approximately 25% of primary energy demand in Ireland, a share that is in line with both the worldwide and European averages of 24%. The Irish gas market is small in a European context, using less than 1% of total EU gas consumption. Ireland has an unusually high dependence on oil. 56% of energy comes from oil, compared to 36% worldwide and 41% in Europe. The ROI market currently sources most of its gas from Great Britain. New sources of supply are expected to come on stream after 2009/10, including the Corrib gas field and potentially the Shannon Liquefied Natrual Gas (LNG) terminal. There is also further indigenous production and storage opportunites in both the Celtic Sea and NI. However, the Irish gas market is expected to continue to be heavily reliant on interconnection with the UK market for the forseeable future.
Bord Gáis has no interests in production activities.
Kinsale Gas Field
There is existing indigenous production at the Kinsale and satellite fields off the south coast of Ireland but this is expected to decline over the next few years. New indigenous production from the Seven Heads facility also came on shore in the last quarter of 2003, through the nearby Kinsale Head facility;however, deliveries to date have been lower than originally projected.
Corrib Gas Field
Further indigenous gas supplies were discovered at the Corrib field, located off the West Coast of Ireland. The Corrib field will be operated by Shell and is owned by a consortium including Shell, Statoil and Marathon Petroleum. Reserves are believed to be of the order of 20-30bcm. The development of the field was substantially delayed by planning permission difficulties and the start date for deliveries is now expected to be in 2009. It is expected that the Corrib gas field will provide a major boost to ROI indigenous production and will initially meet approximately 40% of the ROI peak-day and approximately 60% of the ROI annual demand requirements in 2009/10.
Shannon LNG has received planning permission to build an LNG importation terminal near Tarbert, with first commercial operation by 2001/13.
Projected Primary Energy Demand in Ireland
ROI annual gas demand is forecast to grow at 3% p.a. between 2006/07 and 2012/13. The growth in the main will be driven by new gas-fired stations; however, power sector gas demand is likely to be impacted in the longer-term by increasing renewable production and electrical interconnection with Great Britain.
Growth in other sectors is projected to be very modest. Residential growth is forecast to fall off towards the end of the period, due to increasing energy efficiency measures (which will reduce the demand of both existing and new houses). Industrial / Commercial (I/C) growth is assumed to grow at half the rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).